Musical palate cleanser, cover battle edition

Thought I’d try something fun, perhaps through the week — I’m going to post an original song, along with a cover, and let y’all argue about which is the better of the two.

I was inspired by listening to, believe it or not, Alice Cooper’s new release (!), Detroit Stories, which opens with a cover of Lou Reed’s “Rock and Roll”.  (Also believe it or not, Cooper’s album ain’t half bad, as he does a good job of rocking on while not taking himself too seriously.)

How it started:

How it’s going:

Yeah, I know I’m cheating a little, since Reed originally recorded the song with The Velvet Underground, but work with me here.  The cool thing about the comparison I’m making in this post is that Steve Hunter plays guitar on both the Reed and the Cooper versions.

So, what’s your take?


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24 responses to “Musical palate cleanser, cover battle edition

  1. gastr1

    I like that Alice’s version adds a little funk to the sound. Makes it a little more actually “Detroit.” Still going with the original as the one I’d rather actually listen to, though. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wade Krueger

    I think if I were seeing Alice Cooper in concert and he broke out this cover, I would lose my shit. Don’t really need it on record though. And man, “Rock and Roll Animal” is so great.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. David Basham

    The VU Loaded version is definitive. As for a re-make/re-model, I like Jane’s Addiction’s live cut.


  4. Hogbody Spradlin

    If you’re doing ‘original vs. cover’ all week, I nominate a certain song originally by The Isley Brothers vs. the cover by Otis Day and the Knights.

    Liked by 5 people

  5. akascuba

    The last time I saw Alice Cooper live he had fallen back to playing at Alex Cooley`s across the street from the Fox for a reason. Glad to see he is still capable of cranking out Detroit rock and roll.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Idlewild Dawg

    ‘She Said, She Said’ Gov’t Mule v The Beatles
    ‘Willin’’ The Black Crowes v Little Feat


  7. I have to go Lou Reed/Velvet Underground as well on this one.

    I’d like to nominate Van Morrison vs. Jason Isbell. I’m curious who else loves the live version from Isbell like I do.


  8. Dawglicious

    Otis Redding vs Black Crowes


  9. jgshellnutt

    I feel that the Beatles original work is almost always going to be the better version when compared to later covers….
    with one glaring and notable exception:
    With a Little Help From My Friends. Joe Cocker’s version has so much more feeling and emotion compared to the original. They are nearly unrecognizable as the same song.

    Liked by 1 person


    If you like Alice Cooper singing covers, check out the first Hollywood Vampires record. The second……not so much. Saw Cooper a few years ago at the Alabama Theatre in B’ham. Masterful.


  11. Jimi Hendrix doing “All Along the Watchtower” and Johnny Cash’s “Hurt” are my top 2 “Covers better than the originals, and it’s not even close”

    Liked by 1 person

    • gastr1

      Since we’re on this now.. that entire album of covers by Emmylou Harris, “Wrecking Ball.” She OWNS those tracks.

      Also, fwiw, The Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun” & Cat Power’s version.


    • Derek

      The playing on those covers is superior no doubt. The original artists do a much better job of conveying what the song is all about vocally tho imho.


    • I second the Jimi Hendrix opinion.


  12. Salty Dawg

    RIP, Lou. I’m a big fan but Alice does it for me on this one.


  13. I’d also nominate Nirvana vs. Sturgill Simpson.

    No need for Snoop Dog vs. The Gourds. We already know the blue grass version blows the original away!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. There’s a podcast series from Little Steven’s Underground Garage called “Coolest Conversations.” It’s hosted by Mighty Manfred (of The Woggles), who was GM of WUOG 90.5 FM while I worked there (and full disclosure, was in The Woggles).

    Anyway, Alice was a recent guest on Coolest Conversations, and he discussed the Detroit Stories project extensively. It’s available on Spotify and othe podcast services, fwiw.


  15. SoCalDawg

    Sweet Lou & Alice Cooper, awesome MPC.

    I love when Phish plays this tune live as well. It’s always a great jam.


    • SoCalDawg

      And I give the nod to Reed in the battle of the two versions posted above. . .but I was impressed with Cooper’s effort here.


  16. hassan

    FWIW – I think “Rock n Roll Animal” is one of the best live albums ever. For those not familiar, the “Lou Reed Live” album released the following year was taken from the same show. Do yourself a favor…get both albums, look up the the original set list and mash them together as it should have been released.